Auburn Astronomical Society

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q.  Who can be a member of the Auburn Astronomical Society?

  • A.  Anyone with an interest in astronomy including beginners, amateurs, educators, or professionals. Visitors are welcome.
  • Q.  When and where does the Auburn Astronomical Society meet?

  • A.  The regular meeting of the Auburn Astronomical Society is on the Friday nearest to the Full Moon of each month in room 215 of the Davis Hall, the Aerospace Engineering building on the main campus of Auburn University at 7:45pm. Dark-sky observing is scheduled for the weekend nearest the new moon of each month.  See the 2015 Events Calendar for the exact dates.

  • Q.  How do I get there from here? 

A.  The city of Auburn is easily accessible from highways I-85, U.S. 29, Alabama 14, and several county roads. The campus is located in the center of Auburn near the main intersection of the city at South College Street and West Magnolia Avenue, also known as "Toomer's Corner".

Davis Hall, the Aerospace Engineering building (designated as building "4" on the map) is located in the same block as Samford Hall, the Auburn University landmark, on South College Street in Auburn. The location of room 215 is shown. Parking is at the rear of the building (west side). Entrance to the parking lot is from West Magnolia Ave. Turn into the parking lot opposite the "Golden Arches" on W. Magnolia, one block from Toomer's corner.

  • Q.  What goes on at a meeting?

  • A.  The meeting atmosphere is informal. The program opens with input from the members sharing what they have done, reports from recent star parties, astrophotos, objects observed, new telescope or accessory reviews, book reviews, or news of recent astronomical discoveries. The program can range from astronomy related videos, astronomy software demonstrations, and how-to programs presented by our members, to programs given by invited professional astronomers.

    AAS President, Rhon Jenkins, goes over upcoming events of interest for the members.



     Dr. Rhonald Jenkins, Robert Rock, Dr. Sarma Mukkamala, Russell Whigham, Dr. Jim McLaughlin, and Tom McGowan following Dr. Mukkamala's presentation on binary stars.

  • Q. What is the relationship between the Auburn Astronomical Society and Auburn University?

  • A.   While the Auburn Astronomical Society has several members who are affiliated with the university and we enjoy a cordial relationship with students and faculty, our organization is not directly affiliated with the university.
  • Q.  How much are dues?

  • A.  Twenty dollars per year; ten dollars for students. See the Auburn Astronomical Society Membership Application Form
  • Q.  What are the advantages of membership in Auburn Astronomical Society?

  • A.   Advantages include:
    • Access to others who share your interest in astronomy.
    • Access to a wide variety of telescopes.
    • Access to experienced amateurs who are eager to share their skills and expertise.
    • Discounts up to 10% on purchases from Oceanside Photo & Telescope. AAS discount # :70003
    • Discounts up to 10% on purchases from Scope City.
    • Discounts on subscriptions for Astronomy and Sky & Telescope  magazines.
    • Access to a safe dark-sky location for observing.
    • Access to the society's extensive video tape, book, and DVD library.
    • Access to the society's Loaner Scopes
    • Newsletters and e-mail reminders of scheduled events and special of late-breaking astro-news.
    • Because the Auburn Astronomical Society is affiliated with the Astronomical League, members are entitled to enjoy all of the benefits afforded to League members, including quarterly issues of The Reflector.
  • Q.  Who should I contact for more information about the Auburn Astronomical Society?

  • A.  Allen Screws, Auburn Astronomical Society president.
  •  Q.  What do amateur astronomers do?

  • A.  Our members represent all of the diverse interests of amateur astronomers:
  1. Optics & telescope making
  2. Solar system study: sun, moon, eclipses, occultations, comets, asteroids, and planets.
  3. Deep-sky observing: galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, variable stars, and binary stars.
  4. Astro-imaging
  5. Space exploration
  6. Cosmology and astrophysics.
  7. Naked eye and binocular observing, constellation and star recognition.
  • Q.  Does the Auburn Astronomical Society support astronomy education in the community?

  • A.  As our schedules permit, we make our telescopes and ourselves available for school, scout and church stargazes.  Contact Allen Screws, Auburn Astronomical Society president. You'll find guidelines for hosting such an event at our Stargaze Guidelines.

  • Q.   Do I need to buy a telescope before joining?

  • A.  No. In fact, the consensus is that you'll have a much better knowledge of the sky if you begin by learning the constellations and star names then move up to binocular observing before considering a telescope. A good introductory book for learning the sky is The Stars: A New Way to See Them, by H. A. Rey.
  • Q.   What's a "star party"?

  • A.   On the weekend nearest the new moon, Auburn Astronomical Society members meet at our dark-sky location  for an evening under the stars. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is thinking about buying a telescope to compare a variety of optical and mechanical designs and accessories to see which would be best for them.
  • Q.  How do I get to the observing site?

  • A.   Refer to the Maps and Directions to our Dark-Sky Observing Sites
  • Q.  When I am ready for a telescope, where can I get information?

  • A.   Here is comprehensive guide to buying Telescopes and Accessories